The Tulsa Golden Hurricane football team is now one win away from bowl eligibility, as they beat the winless UCF Knights, 45–30.
Tulsa’s Ramadi Warren rushed for 163 yards and three touchdowns. The passing game was nearly shut down after the first quarter, in which Dane Evans passed to Connor Floyd for two touchdowns. Evans finished with 150 passing yards, 72 of those to Floyd. For the second straight game, Tulsa scored a touchdown on an interception return—this time Michael Mudoh’s return of 86 yards was the second longest return in school history.
On the UCF side, freshman wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith had an impressive day, with 131 yards and a touchdown. Junior quarterback Justin Holman passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns.
After the opening UCF drive ended in a punt, Tulsa took to the air for the first score of the game. Evans completed a 36-yard pass to Connor Floyd on third down to give Tulsa an early 7–0 lead. UCF got their only points of the half on a field goal, with the help of a first down gained by UCF’s Tristan Payton forcing a fumble on cornerback Darrell Williams’ interception. Evans found Floyd again to end the quarter, with a 12-yard pass that made it a 14–3 lead.
Tulsa’s next score was on the back of Ramadi Warren, as he ran for three of the drive’s five plays, for 59 yards. The final score of the half was Redford Jones’s 28-yard field goal, making it a 24–3 lead at half.
However, the Knights made a surge in the third quarter, scoring 17 points, more points than they had scored in the third quarter at all this whole season. After a Dane Evans interception, UCF’s Taj McGowan cut the lead to 14 with a touchdown run. After Wright knocked in another field goal, Holman found Tre’Quan Smith for 11 yards and another UCF touchdown. The unanswered points made the score 24–20 after three.
Tulsa got back on the board in the fourth, with another Ramadi Warren run. UCF answered with another field goal by Wright. After UCF bobbled a punt that was recovered by Tulsa, Ramadi Warren ran in for yet another touchdown. Tulsa sealed the victory with Mudoh’s interception return.
However, the Knights didn’t go down without a fight, as Holman made his second touchdown pass of the game to wide receiver Justin Franks.
The win makes Tulsa one win away from bowl eligibility, with games against Cincinnati, Navy and Tulane remaining. The combined record of these opponents is 13–10. Additionally, two of these games are on the road.
As Tulsa visits Cincinnati next week, UCF hosts East Carolina and South Florida, still searching for their first win of the season.